Alle-Kiski Valley softball notebook: Plum hopes to continue streak after covid pause

Wednesday, May 5, 2021 | 7:49 PM

Plum has been off the field for more than a week, but the Mustangs wrap up a covid pause with a return to practice Friday.

“We haven’t been allowed any contact with (the players), but I imagine they are ready to go,” Plum coach Phil DiLonardo said. “I am sure they’ve done a number of things to stay in shape and be ready to come back.”

At 8-3 overall and 6-1 in Section 1-5A, Plum gets back into action Monday against section rival Armstrong (11-3, 9-1) in a rematch of Plum’s 9-6 win April 14.

That win started a streak of five straight in section, which remained alive with a 7-6 victory over Franklin Regional on April 26.

Plum on Tuesday is slated to host Kiski Area (4-7, 3-5), which is fighting to stay alive in the section playoff race. The Cavaliers host Franklin Regional on Thursday.

The Mustangs cap its section schedule May 12 against Penn Hills.

“Hopefully, the weather cooperates and we can get those games in,” DiLonardo said. “Weather could be a big factor like it has been this week.”

DiLonardo said he liked the way his team was playing prior to the break.

“But it will be almost two weeks since we played a game, and I am not sure how the time off and only having a couple of practices will affect them Monday,” DiLonardo said.

WPIAL playoff possibilities

The WPIAL baseball and softball committees meet online Thursday and Friday to talk about the upcoming playoffs.

The WPIAL has asked for feedback on a number of topics through a survey sent out earlier this week. One issue is how to proceed with postseason tournaments if a section has too many unplayed games because of bad weather, covid pauses, etc., to determine which four teams under the traditional qualifying format earn playoff berths.

WPIAL executive director Amy Scheuneman said the information from the surveys will be discussed by the committees and decisions reached from those discussions will be relayed to the schools next week.

The regular season is slated to end May 12 with the formation of the playoff brackets coming May 13-14 and the start of the playoffs tentatively set for May 17.

Ready for the rematch

Because of rainy weather, Springdale hasn’t played a game since it walk-off against Section 3-A rival Leechburg on April 28.

The Dynamos’ next game will be Friday’s rematch with the Blue Devils set for 4 p.m. at Leechburg’s Gilpin Park.

Leechburg is hoping for a different outcome from the 5-4 loss to Springdale (7-2, 5-0), which won in the bottom of the seventh on an Autumn Sprouse single with the bases loaded.

The playoff qualifiers, Leechburg for a WPIAL-record 34th consecutive time, arrive at Friday’s game with the secion title on the line.

The Blue Devils built momentum and improved to 7-4 overall and 5-1 in the section with a 15-0 win over St. Joseph (6-6, 4-3) in four innings Wednesday.

Leechburg collected 16 hits, and senior Olivia Shimer led the way with four hits, including a home run, and five RBIs.

Leaving no doubt

Knoch made a statement Wednesday in Section 1-4A.

The Knights, after recent section losses to Highlands, 11-3, and Greensburg Salem, 7-4, put up 15 hits and rolled to a 20-9 victory over Freeport. Knoch senior Olivia Vissari homered three times and finished with seven RBIs.

The win drew Knoch (6-7, 5-3) closer to the leaders in the section: Highlands at 6-2 and Burrell at 5-2.

The Bucs, led by ace Katie Armstrong, and the Golden Rams were slated to play Wednesday, but rain forced the game’s to May 12.

Freeport, despite the loss, remains in strong playoff positioning at 4-4 in the section. The Yellowjackets host McKeesport on Thursday and visit Burrell on Saturday.

Greensburg Salem is in contention at 3-5 in section with games remaining against Highlands on Friday and McKeesport on Monday.

Michael Love is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Michael by email at or via Twitter .

More High School Softball

PIAA Class 2A softball finalists Ligonier Valley, Line Mountain similar
Mt. Pleasant softball hopes to answer one last call
Highlands softball savors triumphs during historic season
PIAA softball notebook: Mt. Pleasant catcher Shawley battles through pain
PIAA Class 2A softball preview capsule: Ligonier Valley vs. Line Mountain

click me